How much are public libraries used in different countries? The new LJ Index makes it easy to find typical values for US libraries:
- 6.5 – 8.5 visits per capita
- 4.5 – 5.5 loans per capita
- 0.6 – 0.7 loans per visit (1.4 – 1.6)
- 18-24 internet sessions per 100 visits
- The number of visits per capita, loans per capita, and loans per visit increase as we go from smaller to larger libraries – except at the very top.
- The number of internet sessions per visit also shows a small but steady increase as we go from smaller to larger libraries. This increase goes all the way to the top.
- 5.3 visits per capita
- 8.7 loans per capita
- 1.6 loans per visit
Data on internet sessions are not available.
- 3,1 visits per capita
- 7.4 loans per capita
- 2.4 loans per visit
- 1.0 visits per capita
- 2.2 loans per capita
- 2.1 loans per visit
Corresponding Norwegian data (in libraries serving10.000 people or more) are
- 4.5 visits per capita
- 4.8 loans per capita
- 1.1 loans per visit
In Norway, the relative importance of “in house” activities is clearlly larger than in the US, Austyralia, Lithuania and Austria. In Norway the number of loans per visit decreases as we go from smaller to larger libraries.
- 8.6 visits per capita
- 6.6 loans per capita
- 0.8 loans per visit
- 2006. US. LJ Index. Indicators and data.
- 2006 KOSTRA data with indicators for public libraries. Norway. Municipalities.
- Public libraries, Lithuania, 2000-2007.
- Singapore public libraries: visits, loans and members 1995-2008
The US numbers reflect median values in five different size categories
- 1246 libraries with annual budgets in the 400-999 thousand USD range
- 1124 libraries in the 1-4.9 million range
- 158 libraries in the 5-9.9 million range
- 87 libraries with annual budgets in the 10-29.9 million range
- 30 libraries with annual budgets above 30 million USD
I have not analysed the really small libraries, with budgets below 400 thousand dollars a year But the data are available in the spreadsheet for anybody who is interested.
400-999 thousand USD
- 7.66 loans per capita
- 5.45 visits per capita
- 1.35 loans per visit
- 18 internet sessions per 100 visits
1-4.9 million USD
- 8.01 loans per capita
- 5.55 visits per capita
- 1.43 loans per visit
- 19 internet sessions per 100 visits
5-9.9 million USD
- 8.45 loans per capita
- 5.62 visits per capita
- 1.47 loans per visit
- 20 internet sessions per 100 visits
10-29.9 million USD
- 8.61 loans per capita
- 5.36 visits per capita
- 1.64 loans per visit
- 22 internet sessions per 100 visits
above 30 million USD
- 6.46 loans per capita
- 4.58 visits per capita
- 1.37 loans per visit
- 24 internet sessions per 100 visits